XTM Insights

How to expand your global audience while spending more efficiently

How to expand your global audience while spending more efficiently
How to expand your global audience while spending more efficiently

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Previously, we explained why having a localization process in place would drive success when trying to enter new markets. This time, we’ll look at how this process can be further improved and how companies can manage their budgets more effectively while successfully developing their business abroad.

When trying to reach global audiences, most companies will start with the following process:

  1. Create content in their native language
  2. Once that content is ready, copy, and paste it in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet
  3. Send the required content for translation via email or similar system
  4. Translate the content, either using internal team members, Google Translate, an external agency or a mixture of all three
  5. Copy and paste the localized content and manually create new pages, newsletters, and articles in the relevant languages
  6. Get frustrated if the original content gets updated after the translation is done
  7. Start over from scratch every time something new is created

This process is far from being efficient for a number of reasons we’ll soon discuss, and doesn’t guarantee that your content is going to be of the desired qualityand well receivedin the markets you’re targeting.

Even with what may look like a solid internal process, translators can get lost among outdated documents and lengthy Excel glossaries, resulting in slow and potentially inaccurate translations. Plus, once your business is taking off abroad and you decide to increase your localized output, the gaps are really going to show.

To avoid this, you’ll need to establish solid foundations with a proper localization process. For it to be successful, a fundamental thing to start with is a Translation Management System (TMS), which will tackle issues associated with editing content, tedious manual tasks, terminology inconsistency, and localization quality all at once. Investing in a TMS not only reduces costs, it enables companies to generate more revenue. In fact, leading international businesses like GoTo all use a TMS. Not convinced? Read on to find out how your business can benefit from getting one.

 

Save time by creating a single source of truth

The first benefit of a TMS is that it establishes a single source of truth by enabling you to store, share, and access all your language assets within a single platform. This instantly removes the need to search for content and glossary terms through emails, attach multiple spreadsheets of accepted/forbidden terms and double-check that everyone is using the most up-to-date version. 

With a cloud-based TMS, files that need to be translated are simply uploaded and made instantly accessible to linguists and anyone else who needs to be involved in the localization process. If a file needs to be updatedno problem. You can simply replace the existing file by uploading a new one, ensuring linguists are always working off the latest content.

In a nutshell, if you’re not using a TMS to leverage centralized resources, you’re taking the risk of adding a considerable amount of time to your translation process, which in turn increases costs and your time to market. A TMS will solve this problem automatically, ensuring that the right assets are available to the right people. This in turn guarantees that your brand voice is consistent, creating a strong market presence abroad.

Cut costs by leveraging previously translated content

Without a Translation Management System, it is going to be incredibly tedious to find and reuse content that has already been translatedunless you fancy going through all previously localized files to find the one sentence you’re looking for. Without easy access to that single source of truth, there is no straightforward way to leverage content that has been localized previously. A TMS will store all localized assets and automatically scan them to make smart suggestions when a sentence is similar to another one which has already been translated.  

For instance, if you have already translated “Meet us at our next event in April in San Francisco” and you now want to update it to “Meet us at our next event in May in London’, your TMS will automatically fill out 90% of that sentence for you, and you’ll only have to replace the month and the place. This real-time access to your translation memory just saved you 90% of translation time and cost. You could even decide to let Machine Translation (like Google Translate, SYSTRAN, Intento, or others) fill out the rest of that sentence for you. Yes, that’s another thing you can do within a TMSmore on that in an upcoming article.

For FARFETCH, an online luxury retail platform that sells fashion and beauty products from over 600 boutiques and 1,000 brands in over 190 countries and territories, simply being able to access and leverage a translation memory when localizing of their product catalog has seen them reduce their localization spend by up to 25%. Would you really want to pay twice for the same translation when your TMS can find its exact match in its translation memory?

Ensure consistency while increasing speed and quality

Another advantage of using a TMS is that it not only allows you to import your style guides or glossaries, but it will automatically match them to the files you send for translation. This means that every time a keyword or phrase appears in content that needs to be localized, such as your slogan or product names, translators will know how to translate those terms straight away, ensuring consistency, speed, and high quality.

A TMS enables you to create a library of terms, such as forbidden terms, or indications that certain words (such as your brand name) should never be translated, or that your motto should always be translated the same way. This ensures linguists can easily adhere to the brand voice, resulting in higher-quality content. Not having that information readily available creates a huge potential for inconsistent translations and confusion around the correct terms to use, damaging your brand’s image.

With a TMS, all you need to do is import that information once and every team member will have access to it. Plus, key terms will automatically be highlighted, ensuring the latest guidelines are always clearly statedand followed. This considerably reduces confusion and frustration for team members, while making the process a lot more efficient. Plus, your TMS will automatically lock segments that should not be translated or edited by your translator, meaning you will not be charged for these words, further reducing translation costs. 

 

sset centralization

Gain instant clarity on processes

Another benefit of using a centralized, cloud-based system is that it will provide you with full transparency at all times, in the form of process visibility and data access. You’ll be able to see what’s in progress, what’s still to be done, who’s working on which documents, and more. That way, you’re in full control of your localization processes.

A TMS will automatically analyze the files you send for localization, and you’ll also be able to see how many words need to be translated and check costs. It will spot how many words do not need to be translated from scratch, either because they have already been localized, or because they shouldn’t be translated (such as company names).

Plus, the ability to add deadlines and assign translation projects to linguists or reviewers will give you full visibility of what projects are in process, and which ones may be at risk. The ability to leverage data offers potential for time and cost savings, as a TMS can enable you to see which linguists are top performers, using qualitative and quantitative data. We’ll tell you more about this in our next blog post.

Key Insight

Although it may seem counterintuitive, investing in a Translation Management System will actually enable you to save money, instead of increasing your costs. These savings are supported by:

  • Saving time and unproductive email back-and-forth by using a single source of truth
  • Cutting costs by recognizing and automatically leveraging previously translated content
  • Ensuring consistency while increasing speed and quality by providing guidance on key terms
  • Gaining instant clarity on processes to ensure optimal time to market and that deadlines are met

 

These are just a few of the benefits that having a TMS will instantly provide. However, with this article we’ve only scratched the surface—stay tuned for our upcoming post on how global companies deploy resources strategically.

Still wondering why localization is key?

             

Melissa Favre-Lorraine

AuthorMelissa Favre-Lorraine